Britain’s manufacturing has remained in decline for July and falling at its sharpest in factory orders for seven years.
HIS Markit said orders have fallen as companies have used up materials that were stockpiled.
Exports in new business has declined with lower intakes from China and the EU. The downturn has affected recruitment as employment has dropped for the fourth month in a row.
Rob Dobson, director at IHS Markit said, “July saw the UK manufacturing sector suffocating under the choke-hold of slower global economic growth, political uncertainty and the unwinding of earlier Brexit stockpiling activity.
“The weak, highly competitive environment makes a sustained revival highly unlikely in the coming months.
“However, a short-lived bounce leading up to October should not be ruled out, as some manufacturers are already gearing up to restart Brexit preparations.”
Seamus Nevin, chief economist at manufacturers’ organisation Make UK said, “Today’s numbers prove that the UK economy is undeniably on a downward trajectory with output, new orders and employment all falling again.
“Companies are cutting back on both day-to-day spending and capital investment as the downturn in activity continues, reflecting growing fears of a crash-out Brexit and worrying global trade conditions.”
Duncan Brock, group director at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply said, “A killer combination of economic uncertainty and the weakest production levels for seven years battered the manufacturing sector into contraction for the third consecutive month in July.
“Unsurprisingly the decline in employment levels followed suit with one of the sharpest cuts to jobs for more than six years as businesses hesitated to keep calm and carry on and build staff levels.
“However, optimism for the future stayed relatively buoyant in the hope that certainty will once again return to UK shores soon and in spite of the increase in no-deal Brexit rhetoric.”